Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Sometimes, the light in a room is just right. It's ideal for exactly what you're thinking at that moment, or feeling that second. It could be an empty room - nothing in it - and just the light throwing itself indiscriminatingly through the windows and onto the floor can bend you in half and enhance your melancholy or that belief in the loveliness that could be possible - some of that fairy dust that will occasionally dust us. It screams at us with nary a sound, or seems to let out a squiggling puff of sinewy cigarette white. It seems - and that's a capitalized I and a capitalized T - to all be out there in that lemony air, those cross beams of bright white and the same with the dim, tangerine and khaki light that comes barging mutedly into the house, as the days grow old and tired. It's there and it hardly ever shivers, just stands or leans stiff and steady, painting the ground and the walls with the incoherent dreaminess of sadness. It can be an okay blanket to be cloaked in, when you're in the mood for it - when you've got a full pantry, plenty of coffee and a fully stocked pile of firewood stacked out next to the shed. Doug Burr, a Denton, Texas-based songwriter urges on the pangs of right light, the lemony and tangerine bursts that broom the floors of stark rooms and heavy hearts. He writes with the shadows and the thought of a barren swatch of land coming back to life after the thaw of a winter, finally allowing the shoots of green grass access to the open air and elements again. He sings of life moments the way we feel about them when they're cutting into us pretty good, when our backs are sore from all the weight and when we're roughed up. He is with us when we're feeling down and he tries to get us from holding up a mirror, to divert our attention a bit. "Under The Mirror Ball" is a blizzard of laugh lines not laughing, but measuring up their damaged sides. It's a song that helps us pull the long johns over our feet and up around our waist, down over our heads and we immediately feel that we're being hugged or soothed. Burr sings, "Sometimes a cold wind moans before it dries away your tears" and later continues with the solemn imagery, "Mama, don't trust a slow dance/With a slow dance you just can't win/So you just take your turn…and shuffle out with a limp/Til they find you under the mirror ball/Where everybody moves in time." We feel good and cared for here, by a man learned in the finer points of lonely light.